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Marburg Case Fatality Rate of 93% in Angola Exceeds Ebola Virus

Recombinomics Commentary
March 27, 2005

>> Marburg is similar to the deadly Ebola virus. Dr. Michael Bell a Marburg specialist at the CDC says that Marburg is less deadly than Ebola, but spread in the same way, through bodily fluids. About 25 % of those infected with Marburg die, usually from shock or liver failure. <<

The larger outbreaks of Marburg Virus (MBGV) and Ebola Virus (EBOV) have similar case fatality rates.  Like influenza (type of Orthomyxoviridae), they are single stranded negative sense RNA viruses. MBGV and EBOV are the two types of Filoviridae.

There have been several large outbreaks involving the two viruses, and most of the larger outbreaks have been characterized by a high case fatality rate.  In 1976 there were two large EBOV outbreaks.  In southern Sudan 117 out of 284 patients died, giving a case fatality rate of 42%. In adjacent Zaire 280 out of 318 patients died, case fatality rate of 88%.

The largest MBGV outbreak was between 1998 and 2000 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo where 123 out of 149 patients died, case fatality rate of 83%.

For the current outbreak, a retrospective analysis by the WHO, after the causative agent was identified, indicated 95 out of 102 patients died, case fatality rate of 93%. Recently updated figures of 115 out of 123 deaths, also generates a case fatality rate of 93%, which is the highest rate recorded for larger EBOV and MBGV outbreaks.

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